Neighborhood change, together. Every neighborhood is a unique tapestry—a complex system of interconnected, moving parts. That is precisely why no single solution can ever hope to address all of a struggling neighborhood’s needs. Disinvested places must be revived on multiple fronts. LISC helps residents and local organizations do just that.
We invest in overlapping program areas that reach into every corner of community life. Our approach is comprehensive, effective and—most important—rooted in what neighbors want for themselves, their families and the places they call home.
The East Bluff is located in the heart of Peoria, bordering key medical and educational institutions. Traditionally a middle-class, blue collar neighborhood, the East Bluff is comprised primarily of single family, bungalow style homes built in the first half of the 20th century.
The East Bluff has suffered the common woes due to urban flight- increased vacancy and rental rates, code violations, and below city median income. Due the population’s transient nature, there has been serious disinvestment and outside perceptions of increased drug abuse and violence.
However, the East Bluff is benefiting from a new primary school and associated infrastructure investment in the Glen Oak Impact Zone, which covers nearly 25% of the neighborhood. A core group of long term residents and non-profits have dug in their heels and are working together to make the East Bluff, once again, a preferred neighborhood to live, work, and raise children.
The South Side is bordered by the Illinois River to the south, a small town to the west, a less dense area of the city to the north, and downtown Peoria to the east. It is ideally situated to be a vibrant neighborhood with its close proximity to the urban core and natural resources.
The South Side has seen decades of disinvestment resulting in a low quality of life for residents. Extensive deterioration, inadequate utilities, high rate of vacancies, and code violations attribute to the South Side’s designation as a blighted area. The South Side has higher rates of rental properties, vacant units, and unemployment than the city of Peoria at large. The home-ownership rate and median household income are about half that of the City of Peoria. The neighborhood also suffers from an outside perception of higher rates of crime and gang violence.
Despite existing struggles, the South Side does have several assets: location, proximity, well established non-profits, incredible potential for development, and especially a strong core group of resident leaders.
Dream Center Clean Up Day, a Community Core event
The Richland neighborhood is located in East Peoria, IL. It is approximately one half square mile and is situated in the valley of the Illinois River. Large Caterpillar manufacturing facilities border the neighborhood on two sides, an abandoned industrial building on the third, and an interstate on the fourth. While the neighborhood is less than a mile from the newly developed Levee District of East Peoria, it is incredibly isolated due to its surroundings, especially the interstate.
Greater Peoria LISC has worked to engage residents and stakeholders of Richland to identify priorities, community leaders, and build a base of communication.
In 2017, a home repair program that focusies on external improvements is being implemented to service owner-occupied houses.
A strategy is being developed to leverage additional financing from government and private sector sources.
Before and After
With the generous support of the Caterpillar Foundation, LISC Central Illinois has lead a home repair program in the Richland neighborhood in East Peoria. Managed by our partners South Side Office of Concern, the goal of the program is to make necessary home repairs in this underserved community. Homeowners in the Richland neighborhood have participated in this exterior home repair program that makes needed repairs to roofs, siding, and windows. The program has been wonderfully successful, and is scheduled to make home repairs to 17 homes in the neighborhood.